CALL TO WORSHIP: (Psalm 23)
One: God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
All: You have bedded me down in lush meadows’s you find me quiet pools to drink from.
One: True to your word,
All: you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
One: Even when the way goes through death valley,
All: I am not afraid, when you walk by my side. Your trusty rod makes me feel secure.
One: You serve me a six course dinner right in front of my enemies.
All: You revive my drooping head, my cup brims with blessings
One: Your love follows me every day of my life.
All: I will stay in God’s house for the rest of my life.
COME AND SEE
Psalm 40: 1-40, Isaiah 40: 1-10
John 1: 35-40
John the Baptist and Jesus had dramatically different styles of inviting people to follow him. To illustrate the differences I want you to imagine we are in a concert Hall.
--imagine packed door to door (like our 160 Anniversary service)
--we reviewed the program--all eager, excited music lovers.
--waiting for the thunderous music to begin.
--music for the battle cry—the victory cry!
LOOK THE MASTER of CEREMONY IS ON THE STAGE:
--declares in a melodic voice, the famous musician has arrived.
--He gets us to our feet, welcome him with loud applause.
-- It is the musician who is going to fill our expectations.
--we stand eagerly with great anticipation-the curtain opens
--a small figure stands in the middle of the stage—not what we expected.
--no waving arms-no baton to bring the orchestra alive
--what’s that he is carrying? Why it’s a small FLUTE. (might be Robb)
--shocked by the silence, then he plays gently, softly.
--a tune different than we expected, we hear familiar themes played in a new way.
--music haunting-fragile-stirring our imagination, transforming our hopes .
--as he reaches the climax
--we are spell bound-- new visions of music
This master musician and his music WAS NOT WHAT WE EXPECTED!!
Keeping this picture of the concert in mind, let’s compare it to the scene by the shores of the Jordan River.
--JOHN THE BAPTIST is the Master of Ceremony shouting receive the Messiah.
-- He’s coming! He’s more powerful than me!
--He’ll give you God’s wind and fire not just water.
--He’ll sort you out—clear up your mess-he’ll separate the
wheat from the chaff.
--we’re on our feet—expecting a great leader--God himself entering the world.
Instead we get Jesus,! Jesus who comes and stands humbly before John asking to be baptized.
This was not the kind of Messiah John the Baptist was expecting, this was supposed to be God’s judgment Day, the time had come to separate the believers from the unbelievers.
John was expecting a great dramatic entry with cries of warning and judgment, but he hears something entirely different.
Jesus, seems to identifies not with John’s God who condemns and declares vengeance, rather with the people, who are facing judgment and needs help to change their ways,
--Instead Jesus, the long awaited “anointed one” calls out “blessed are the peacemakers—love your enemy!”
Poor John the Baptist all he gets is failed expectations! The Concert Hall and the SHORES OF THE JORDAN RIVER produced similar yet Unexpected conclusions!!
It reminds me of: A man who receive a card from his wife, on the front were these words, “SWEETHEART YOU ARE THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS.” On the inside of the card it read, “YOU’RE NOT EXACTLY WHAT I PRAYED FOR, BUT APPARENTLY YOU ARE THE ANSWER!!”
Full of doubt and disappointment John spends the night in town trying to piece together all that has happened that day. Has God truly sent this Jesus to be his “anointed one?”
The next day John the Baptist sees Jesus wandering through the streets of Bethany and sent Andrew and another of his disciples, to follow Jesus and discover what he is planning.
Andrew soon catches up to Jesus and he seems a little bewildered as to what to talk about so he asks Jesus, “Where are you staying?” Jesus simply extends an invitation, “COME AND SEE,” no long speech just come and see!
So Andrew spends the evening with Jesus and we can imagine their conversation Jesus telling Andrew of his mission and the first thing is to recruit some disciples to help him.
Andrew was so excited, the very next day he ran to find his brother Simon, who had gone fishing. I’m sure Andrew didn’t have the words to how he had met Jesus so he probably just said to Simon, “COME AND SEE.”
According to the writer of the book of John, these few words COME AND SEE was all that Jesus said that brought him together with his first two disciples. No talk of a revolution-no threats or judgment just a quiet invitation to follow him and help bring God’s kingdom here on earth.
I wonder how often we say those sew words COME AND SEE in our daily lives?
Mothers, you probably remember trying to describe the cake you were baking to your daughter over the phone, it was far easier to say COME and SEE the cake.
Or granddad, do you recall working in your workshop building a bird house or may be a sled for the grandchildren, the kids are sure curious, everyone is curious. What’s granddad making? He’s sure spending a lot of time in his workshop. It’s much easier for granddad just to Say COME AND SEE than to try explain the size, the shape and the colour.
Well, we all know how difficult it is to explain some things and this is especially true when it comes to explaining our faith, we don’t know what words to say, we feel awkward. Yet Christ expects us to be willing to share our faith with others, he wants us to invite them to COME AND SEE and experience our hospitality.
Maybe we can use Andrew as an example s to how we fit in to God’s plan and how we can do our part.
Last week Stewart talked about the sin of PRIDE and in today’s message we witness an example of complete humility. Of all his disciples, Andrew never belonged to Jesus’ inner circle of disciples. Jesus seemed to favour Peter, James and John, but Andrew never let this bother him and continually introduced others to Jesus.
I can recall three times in the gospel story when Andrew brings someone to Jesus; the time when he brings Peter to Jesus; there is the incident in John 6: 8-9 when he brings the boy with the five loaves and two small fishes to Jesus and other times when he brought inquiring Greeks in John 12: 22 into the presence of Jesus.
Having found a friend in, he spent all his life introducing others to that friendship. It was Andrew’s great pleasure to bring people to Jesus. I wonder if he used the same invitation, COME and SEE.
Jesus was available to Andrew and Peter with no questions asked so and when some need in our lives leads us to seek Jesus, whether for the first time or the thousandth time we don’t need any ritual or formality, Jesus just says COME AND SEE!
All of us hear this morning, at some time or other, received an invitation to come to church, it’s hard to find the right words to explain what spiritual refreshment each of us receive during worship, so the words COME AND SEE is an great invitation that needs no explanation.
I Remember the time when Sharon and I came to church and STAYED. WHY DID WE STAY?
—we felt welcome—we met friends, neighbours-it was comfortable- we had our batteries recharged for the following week-received some help in our daily lives from the scripture reading or prayers. the message was meaningful — singing familial hymns— and we felt God’s presence. I’m sure you are no different.
Like Andrew, we are called to share what we experience here at Rockburn or at other places of worship with others.
If we are waiting for a big bang event, like those who witnessed John the Baptist we are in for a letdown. I’m not ruling out some dramatic event may change people’s lives but most of the time God works through you and me, quietly encouraging us to seek out those in need and provide a helping hand.
Earthly rulers use armies, fear and deception but GOD REIGNS THROUGH LOVE. Jesus doesn’t conquer instead he extends an invitation to all.
Let’s not get bogged down trying to find the right words to invite people to share the good news of Jesus. Just use COME AND SEE and be there to meet them at the door.